Amarillo Biosciences and CytoPharm Announce Start of Enrollment for Hepatitis C Study in Taiwan
Published: Jun 29, 2009
AMARILLO, TX--(Marketwire - June 29, 2009) -
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.
MacReport Media Publishing
The study will be conducted under the direction of Dr. Chau-Ting Yeh at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. A total of 165 patients who test positive for a "high-risk" hepatitis C viral genotype will receive one of two different doses of human interferon-alpha or placebo given daily for 24 weeks. Following completion of treatment, patients will be monitored for relapse for an additional 24 weeks. Full study enrollment is expected by the end of the year with study completion targeted for the 4th quarter of 2010.
Approximately 170 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus worldwide, with an additional 3-4 million cases occurring each year. The incidence of cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis C patients is 10 to 20%, and 1 to 5% develop liver cancer. In addition to sexual and perinatal transmission, hepatitis C virus infection is common following direct contact with contaminated blood, typically due to inadequately sterilized needles and syringes. Currently, there is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C virus.
Separately, the companies announced that CytoPharm is planning a study of oral interferon lozenges in the treatment of influenza to be launched during the 2009/2010 flu season in Taiwan.
About Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 7% of Amarillo Biosciences' shares and has provided over $18 million in loans, grants and equity investments. The Company's primary focus is extensive and ongoing R&D into the use of low-dose, orally administered interferon as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including influenza, hepatitis C, chronic cough, and opportunistic infections in patients who are HIV positive. In its 25-year history, the Company has invested nearly $40 million to establish oral interferon as a therapeutic agent. The majority of those funds were invested in clinical trials in an effort to achieve FDA approval for interferon. Additional information is available on the web site at http://www.amarbio.com/.
CytoPharm is a closely held company focusing on the development of biopharmaceuticals for virus-infected diseases and cancers. It was founded in 2002 by Ho Tung Chemical, Vita Genomics, and banks and venture capital firms. It acquired core technologies from Gene Trol Therapeutics, Inc., a California based company through M&A. Its product pipelines contain a series of cytokines induced by its proprietary technologies, used for hepatitis, and cancers. Currently, its product is under clinical trials in China. Both CytoPharm and Vita Genomics are affiliates of Ho Tung Chemical Inc., one of the largest petrochemical companies in Taiwan, and a publicly traded company whose 2008 revenues were approximately NTD 50 billion.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties related to product development, uncertainties related to the need for regulatory and other government approvals, dependence on proprietary technology, uncertainty of market acceptance of oral interferon or the Company's other product candidates and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, see "Item 1. Description of Business" and "Item 7A. Qualitative and Quantitative Disclosures About Market Risk" of the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008.
PAN Consultants, Ltd.
Tel: 800-477-7570; 212-344-6464
Joseph M. Cummins, DVM, PhD
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc.
Tel: 806-376-1741 x 13